Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Janssons Frestalse (Jansson's Temptation)

As promised in my previous post, here is the recipe for Janssons Frestalse.

I've never been a real big fan of potatoes, the only potato dish I like is really Shoestring french fries.  I use potatoes alot in my cooking but I hardly eat them.  I much prefer sweet potatoes. :)

During my search for Swedish meatballs recipe, I came across pictures of Jansson's Temptation and I was drawn to it.  Perhaps it was the seductive name Jansson's Temptation that drawn me.... I mean who would name a NON CHOCOLATE DISH a temptation....I figured that if it was so tempting for Jansson....It must be good!!

And true enough, Jansson's Temptation turns out to be this creamy, fragrant, melt in your mouth seduction.  I couldn't get enough of it.  Only thing I changed in the recipe was I used Herrings instead of Anchovies.  I really really do not fancy anchovies at all and I think it would ruin the dish for me. :P


6 Large Potato (sliced)
1 Large onion (sliced)
Bout 10 fillets of Anchovies or 1 tin of Herrings (You can add more if you like but this portion is just nice for me. Not too fishy)
1.5 cup of double cream
1/2 cup milk (Could be less, I estimated here or you could just go for 2 cups of cream)
Bread crumbs
Dill (I love dill so I topped it off with some)

How to make

Slice potatoes and large onion, 

Heat oven to 220 degrees celsius

Oil your baking dish.  Start with a layer of potato then onions and fish.  Reserve the fish juice from the tin for later use. As in the picture above.  

Keep going till you reach the top, end with a layer of potatoes.  

Mix cream, milk and juice from herrings,  pour over dish, top with dill

Sprinkle breadcrumbs on top.  Dot with salted butter.

 Place on baking sheet to catch any cream which bubbles over (I forgot...) Bake in oven for 45mins until the cream reduces and the dish turns golden brown.

 Voila!!! Janssons Frestalse!!

You can eat it as it is or serve with a side of Swedish Meat balls.  

 Smaklig måltid
Monica Eng

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Oavsiktlig köttbullar - The Accidental Meatballs.

I've been wanting to try make my own swedish meatballs for quite a while.  I've finally found a 5/5 Recipe on the internet.  However being the smart aleck & impatient freak I am sometimes.... I only read the ingredients and assumed the recipe.  It came out absolutely yummy.  While I was writing this blog I realised that I've "cleverly" dumped the ingredients for the sauce into the meatballs as well.  So i decided to make it again the 2nd day....the right way....however, the right way turned out to look nicer then the wrong way but it didn't taste half as good as the ones I made "wrongly" the day before.

So I'm going to give you the ACCIDENTAL version of my meat balls.

Oavsiktlig Köttbullar - The Accidental Meatballs

"Rätt" Köttbullar  - The "Right"  one
Ingredients for Meatballs

3/4 pound Mince Pork
3/4 pound Mince Beef
1/4 cup of milk
2 tablespoon of cream
1/4 cup of plain flour
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
2 large egg yolks
one tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 teaspoon all spice
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Sauce (I was lazy and used the IKEA pre packed sauce instead)
- 3 cups beef broth
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- Salt and pepper

How to make

Chop onions finely, you can sauteed the onions till it wilts and leave aside.  But I like my onions fresh so I did not.

Put everything in a big bowl.

Knead it for a good 3-5 mins till everything is nicely mixed together.  Put in fridge for 30mins

Roll into round balls

Heat pan with oil or butter if u prefer that extra fragrance.

Fry till golden brown on all sides.

When all the meatballs are done, add flour into remaining oil (Approx 2 tbs)  If too much oil, remove some from pan.  If too little just add some butter.

Whisk till flour dissolves well into the fat.  If you do not do this well, you sauce will have a strong floury smell.  U have to make sure the flour is "cooked".  If over done your sauce will have a weird texture.

Add cream and continue to cook and stir till gravy reaches the right consistency.

Serve with Potatoes (I served it with Janssons Frestalse a delectable and rich potato dish which I will share the next time)

Drizzle gravy over the meatballs with a spoonful of lingonberry jam.

Smaklig måltid
Monica Eng

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Chinese Herbal Soup (滋阴补肺汤)

There are many kinds of Chinese Herbal soup.  Each is a different remedy for different ailments.  The ones we concoct at home are usually for general well being.

The one I made today provides energy to the body, replenishes blood and strengthens the lungs.


One Spring Chicken (Black or white doesn't matter)

2 pieces of 茯苓 (Fuling, Poria) - For insomnia, restlessness, fatigue, sleep disorder, tension and nervousness

A generous handful of 玉竹 (Yuzhu, Solomon's Seal) - This herb is used for dryness of the lung and stomach, with such symptoms as dry throat, chronic dry cough, thirst, insatiable hunger and irratibility.

2 pieces of 熟地 (Shu di,  Chinese Fox Gloves) - Replenishes Blood

A handful of 麦冬 (Maidong, Dwarf Lilyturf Tuber) - To nourish yin and promote the production of body fluid, moisten the lungs and ease the mind.

2-3 tablespoon of 构杞子 (Gouqizi, wolfberry) - Antioxidant 

5 pieces 党参 (dangshen codonopsis root) - Energizes body, prevents asthma, aids in digestion

How to cook

Put all the herbs in pot with whole spring chicken.
Add enough water to just cover the chicken.

Cook with lid covered over low fire for 3 hours.
Add little salt to taste.

Bon appetit!
Monica Eng

Challenge #4 for Monica

My Next challenge for Monica is a Greek soup.  Good luck and enjoy!!! :)


Monday, February 14, 2011

Challenge #3 for Mary

My Next challenge for Mary is a Korean dish I wanted to try so badly in Korea but could not find for some reason.

콩국수 Kongguksu

Result of Challenge #2 - Cypriot Afelia

When I got this challenge from Mary, I thought Afelia sounded awfully familiar! After some research on in internet I realised it was my favourite dish when I was in Cyprus.  There is a nice cosy restaurant I would go to almost everyday when I was in Nicosia, Xefoto, and I had Afelia every other day.  It was sooooo delicious.  The owner of the restaurant was really nice,  I had free coffee and sweets almost all the time.  Before I left, the nice old man even bought me a jar of honeyed walnuts.  And when I told him I miss rice so much, he made me rice.

So I was really excited that my 1st Challenge from Mary was Afelia.  I am suppose to use Pork shoulder meat but cos I was making it during the Chinese New Year period, I couldn't find pork shoulder meat, so I settled for Prime Ribs and Pork belly...YUM...both are my favourite part.


1kg Pork shoulder or prime ribs or Pork belly
2 cups of Red wine
2 sticks of cinnamon
3 Tbs of Coriander seed
1 sliced onions
Olive oil
Salt & ground black pepper
Bulgar wheat
Chicken Stock
Plain Yoghurt

How to make

Cut pork shoulder/Belly into 1.5inch cubes

Roast the coriander seeds in a Pan on low heat till fragrant.

Crush the coriander seeds.

Marinate pork with 2 tablespoon of crushed coriander seeds, 2 sticks of cinnamon, 2 cups of red wine and some salt and black pepper. (Leave it to marinate covered, in the fridge for 24 hours, I did it for about 16hours)

In a heavy pot, heat olive oil over medium fire.  Lightly brown the pork.  (Save the juice from marinate for later use, discard cinnamon stick)

In a seperate pot, caramelize the onions and some crushed coriander seeds till fragrant.  Put in the pork.  Add the juice from marinate and add enough water to cover 1/2 the pork.  Add salt to taste if it's not salty enough during cooking.

Cook it covered on low fire for 1hour.   (Stir occasionally to prevent burns at the base)

After one hour, open lid and put in the rest of the crushed coriander seeds and cook for another 30mins, if there is too much liquid, cook with half open lid till sauce reduces.

Making Bulgar Wheat

Put 1/2 cup of bulgar wheat and 1/2 cup of chicken stock in a pan and cook it till bulgar wheat is soft.  You can make bulgar wheat with other things but I chose to make plain bulgar as Afelia is quite a heavy dish and would be perfect with plain bulgar wheat.  If you do not have chicken stock feel free to use water and butter instead.

Serve Afelia with cooked bulgar wheat and some yoghurt.

Bon Appetit
Monica Eng

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Results of Challenge #1 - Gluay Todd Thai Dessert

I am wayyy over my deadline on my first challenge. What a start! :P

I have to try harder next time.

So... Gluay Todd a Thai Dessert or Fried Bananas in other words. When Monica gave me the challenge and I read Gluay Todd, I was like "What?"  I've never heard of it before. But Bananas? I don't really like bananas as a dessert, they make me feel a bit sick, so I was kinda worried about this one! :)

I found a recipe using google and went to the supermarket to pick the stuff up. I couldn't find Tapioca Flour, so I bought Tapioca Cream. With Tapioca Cream I will have to use less water with the rice flour though.

So I took the stuff home and my friend Alicia came over with her boyfriend and together they helped me with the challenge.

We started following the recipe and decided to use only four bananas for the three of us, so we sliced the bananas into thick pieces.

When we opened the can of the Tapioca cream and looked inside it was like it was full of small eggs. To be honest it looked kinda disgusting.

We mixed the Tapioca Cream with the flour and then we added the coconut, baking soda, sugar, salt, sesame seeds and we started pouring the water in slowly. It was really difficult to measure the quantity of the water because we were using Tapioca Cream instead of Tapioca Flour. It came out a bit mushy I think but I am not exactly sure. :) Experiment to find your own perfect consistency.

We dipped the bananas in the cream and then we fried them one by one. They were ready in seconds. We have to admit that they were really amazing! We finished them all! ^_^

Next time though I will slice them into thin pieces instead of thick because the thinnest ones in this bunch were more crunchy and tasty.

Bon Apetit!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sunday Brunch - Smoke Salmon with Cheese Omelette

My favourite meal of the day is Breakfast...but hardly do I have breakfast in the morning since I am more of a night owl.  So I do love the notion of an all-day-breakfast.  I get real excited when I step into a restaurant and sees ALL-DAY-BREAKFAST on the menu.  I almost always order a smoke salmon dish along with my favourite bircher muesli.  I'll leave the muesli recipe to another day.

Recently a friend of mine has asked for an easy recipe for brunch.  So I've whipped up something simple and wholesome with my favourite breakfast ingredients.  It's really filling....it's dinner time and I'm still full.  Then again....I had breakfast at 3pm. :P


2 eggs
2 tbsp Milk
3 slice of smoked salmon
One small baguette
One tomato
Mozzarella cheese (As much or as little as you like)
Olive Oil
Black Pepper

How to Make

Cut baguette into half, Slice tomatoes and slice mozzarella cheese (Optionally you can use mozzarella shavings)  lay tomatoes and then cheese on top of baguette.

Grill in oven for 15 mins or until cheese melt.  U can grill it longer if u like your tomatoes drier, I like my tomatoes still moist and cheese just melted.

Beat eggs with 2 tbsp of milk.  

Heat a little oil in pan on low heat.  When it's hot enough, add egg into pan.  Push the done sides into the centre and tilt the pan around so the liquid eggs go to the sides.  When the base is done but top is still gooey.  Add mozzarella cheese

Fold over the egg on both sides so the cheese is inside the egg.  Let it cook till the cheese melts.  Put in plate.

Drizzle a little olive oil on the bruschetta & Sprinkle some salt and pepper over omelette and bruschetta.

Serve with a side of your favourite fruit.

Bon Appetit!
Monica Eng

Thursday, February 3, 2011

福州太平面 - Hock Chew "Peaceful Noodles"

It's the first day of Chinese New Year today.  As my paternal grandmother is of Hockchew origins, we have always started the day off at her house in the morning where we will pay respects to our elders, where we wish them good health and a good year in return we get their blessings back in a red packet that contains a token sum of money.  After that it is tradition that we have breakfast painstakingly prepared by my grandma and aunt the night before, breakfast consisted of a hot piping bowl of "Peaceful Noodles".  It is an auspicious start to the year, ensuring a smooth sailing year ahead.  Till today my grandma still boils this stock overnight on a stove of hot coals.  Thats why my stock is never as good as hers cos I'm too lazy and worried to have a charcoal stove up over night for fear I might burn down the house. :P

Serves 4

- 4 Chicken Thighs with bones
- 4 Chicken wings with bones
- 10 shitake mushrooms (Remove stem and cut into bite size)
- Thumb size of ginger
- Wheat Vermicelli aka longevity noodles
- 4 Hard boil eggs

How to cook

- Put chicken pieces, mushroom & ginger in a pot.  Bring to boil on high heat.  Add salt according to how salty you want the stock to be
- Lower heat and keep boiling it for at least 3 hours.  I cooked it for 4hours today
- When soup is done, Prepare hard boil eggs, set aside.
- Boil a pot of water, add a dash of salt.  Boil noodles till it's soft.  This should not that very long.  2mins at most.
- Put noodles in a bowl, put egg and spoon soup over with some chicken and mushroom
- Optionally you can add a dash of Chinese rice wine or Cognac in the soup.

Monica Eng