Updates: 338 recipes added!

Peranakan chicken curry

Freezer-friendly dishes - Part 3.

Ingredients (serves 4 to 6):
4 cloves garlic, peeled
A thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled
1 medium red onion, peeled
3 tbsp cooking oil
1/2 tsp cardamom seeds
5 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
3 sprigs curry leaves
3 tbsp curry powder, mixed with 3 tbsp water to form a paste
1 chicken, cut into pieces
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup water
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tomatoes, quartered
2 green chillies, halved

1. Finely chop the garlic, ginger and onion, then blend into a paste.
2. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottom saucepan and fry the paste with the cardamom seeds, star anise, cinnamon stick, and curry leaves till fragrant. Add the curry paste and fry for 3 minutes.
3. Remove the spice mix from the pan. Fry the chicken till it is brown and half-cooked.
4. Pour the spice mix back into the pan and coat the chicken well. When it starts to sizzle, add the yogurt, water, salt and pepper.
5. Let the curry simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes, lower the heat and simmer for another 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from heat, cool and freeze.
6. When reheating the curry, bring to a boil, add the tomatoes and green chillies and cook for 5 minutes. Serve with rice or bread.

If your curry is made with coconut milk instead of yogurt, you shouldn't freeze the dish.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Aug 2008)

Quiche lorraine

Freezer-friendly dishes - Part 2.

Ingredients (serves 4 to 6):
1 piece frozen shortcrust pastry, thawed
1 tbsp butter
1 cup minced onion
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups thickened cream
1/2 tsp salt
Dash of black pepper
3/4 cup grated Gruyere cheese
5 slices of honeybaked ham, cut into small pieces

1. Preheat oven to 200 deg C. Roll the pastry to a 5mm thickness between two sheets of greaseproof paper to prevent the pastry from sticking to your work surface.
2. Drop the pastry into a 9-inch tart tin, covering the base and sides evenly.
3. Prick the dough with a fork, line with greaseproof paper and fill with red beans. Blind bake for 15 minutes.
4. Remove the red beans and greaseproof paper and bake the pastry till golden brown, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
5. Reduce oven to 150 deg C. Heat the butter in a shallow pan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Remove and set aside.
6. Combine the eggs, cream, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl and whisk until evenly blended. Stir in the cheese, ham and onions.
7. Pour the filling into the crust and bake for 45 minutes. Leave to cool, then freeze it whole or in portions.

For a more savoury flavour, use crispy bacon in place of ham.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Aug 2008)

Beef semur

Prepare these freezer-friendly dishes beforehand and you can have a meal on the table in just minutes - perfect for busy workdays.

Freezer-friendly dishes - Part 1.

Ingredients (serves 6 to 8):
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 large onions, quartered
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 kg beef flank, cut into chunks
4 tbsp black soya sauce
1 tsp salt
Dash of black pepper
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 cinnamon stick
4 star anise
10 cloves
4 cardamom pods
3 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 tomatoes, quartered

1. In a large pot, heat the oil over a medium flame. Add the onions and garlic and fry until lightly browned and fragrant.
2. Bring to high heat, brown the beef on all sides and add the black soya sauce, salt, pepper, sugar and vinegar.
3. Add the spices and mix well. Add enough water the cover the meat, then bring to a boil.
4. Reduce to low heat and simmer for 1 hour. Add the carrots and potatoes and simmer for another hour.
5. Add the tomatoes and cook till soft, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat, leave to cool and freeze.
6. Reheat, then serve with rice and sambal belachan.

If your gravy is too thin, stir in a paste of 1 tbsp of cornflour and 1 tsp of water until it thickens. Do this just before serving.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Aug 2008)

Mango and strawberry cheesecake

This luscious no-bake dessert is a welcome treat anytime.

Ingredients (serves 6):
150g digestive biscuits, crushed
5 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 tsp gelatine
4 tbsp warm water
250g Philadelphia cream cheese
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup thickened cream
1 mango, peeled
6 strawberries

1. Mix the biscuits and butter. Line the base and sides of a 6 inch square cake tin with cling wrap and press the mixture into the base. Place in the freezer.
2. Add the gelatine into the water (cool enough to stick your finger in for a few seconds without flinching). After 5 minutes, stir to dissolve the gelatine.
3. In a bowl, combine the cream cheese, lemon juice, gelatine mixture and sugar. Blend using an electric mixer till smooth.
4. Whip the cream till it forms soft peaks, then stir into the cream cheese mixture until smooth.
5. Remove the cake tin from the freezer. Pour the cream cheese mixture in, distributing it evenly. Smooth the top of the cake with the back of a spoon and refrigerate for at least an hour.
6. Cut the mango and strawberries into cubes. Remove the cake from the tin and top with the fruits.

To make chocolate cheesecake, use oreo cookies (without the creamy layer) instead of digestive biscuits for the base, and use vanilla extract instead of lemon juice. Top with chocolate curls.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Aug 2008)

Japanese-style stuffed portobello mushrooms

Mushrooms - Part 3.

Delightfully savoury and cheesy.

Ingredients (makes 6):
1 tbsp olive oil
100g silken tofu
4 tbsp Japanese mayonnaise
1 tsp mirin
2 tbsp Shinsuichi miso (a light yellow miso paste)
6 prawns, shelled, boiled and diced
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
6 portobello mushrooms, stems removed
1/4 cup panko (Japanese frying breadcrumbs)

1. Pre-heat the oven to 190 deg C. Brush a baking tray with olive oil.
2. Place the tofu in a bowl and break it up with a whisk. Add the mayonnaise, mirin and miso, stirring until you get a soft paste.
3. Add the prawns and 1/4 cup of the cheese to the paste. Spoon the mixture into the mushroom caps, packing it in tightly.
4. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the mushrooms, along with a teaspoon of panko over each mushroom.
5. Bake for 25 minutes, or until mushroom tops are golden and bubbling. Serve hot.

For a more substantial meal, add chopped ham or cooked pasta to the filling.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Sep 2008)

Steamed mushroom custard

Mushrooms - Part 2.

Smooth, silky and nutritious.

Ingredients (makes 6):
20g butter
1 tsp sesame oil
1 leek (white part only), thinly sliced
50g shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced thinly
50g enoki mushrooms, stems removed and halved lengthwise
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dashi granules
4 eggs
3 egg yolks
185ml whipping cream
1 1/2 tsp mirin
2 tsp Japanese soya sauce
A pinch of ground white pepper
3 chives, halved

1. In a small frying pan, heat the butter and sesame oil over a medium flame. Add the leek and cook for 3 minutes or until soft.
2. Add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Cook for 6 minutes until wilted. Sprinkle the dashi in the pan and mix till dissolved.
3. Remove the pan from the flame and set aside to cool.
4. In a bowl, mix the eggs, egg yolks, cream, mirin, soya sauce, salt and white pepper.
5. Place the mushrooms in 6 ramekins and pour the egg mixture over the mushrooms. Steam for 10 minutes.
6. Garnish with chives and serve hot.

Substitute the dashi granules with a quarter cube of chicken stock.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Sep 2008)

Oriental mushroom pasta

From portobello to white, brown and golden, there's a variety of ways to enjoy this earthy fungi.

Store fresh mushrooms in a brown paper bag that's placed in a larger perforated plastic bag in the fridge - this lets them breathe and keeps them moist.

Mushrooms absorb odours so keep away from foods with strong aromas.

Buy mushrooms that are firm and dry, and that smell pleasant and earthy. Avoid those with pits or that feel slimy.

Mushrooms - Part 1.

A fusion of Italian and Asian flavours.

Ingredients (serves 2):
50g linguine
2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
4 shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
1 packet enoki mushrooms, stems removed
1 packet shimeiji mushrooms, stems removed
1 tbsp sake or white wine
2 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp light soya sauce
1/3 cup chicken stock
1 small tomato, chopped
1 tbsp English parsley, chopped
1/4 tsp chilli powder
A pinch of salt and pepper

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook the linguine for 8 minutes or until al dente. Drain and set aside.
2. In a saucepan, heat the olive oil for 30 seconds. Add the garlic and fry till fragrant.
3. Add the mushrooms and fry till tender and wilted, about 7 minutes. Add the sake, mirin, light soya sauce and chicken stock.
4. When it starts to bubble, add the linguine and mix well.
5. Remove the pan from the flame and add the tomatoes and parsley.
6. Sprinkle chilli powder, salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

You can also add oyster and abalone mushrooms to the pasta, but avoid the less flavourful white and canned mushrooms.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Sep 2008)

Carrot cake

Ingredients (serves 6):
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1 cup carrot, grated
1/2 cup orange rind, grated
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup almonds, chopped and toasted

1. Pre-heat oven to 180 deg C. Grease and flour a loaf tin.
2. In a large bowl, combine the eggs and sugar. Whisk till light and fluffy.
3. Fold in the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon powder.
4. Stir in the carrot, orange rind and vegetable oil, and add the almonds.
5. Pour the batter into the loaf tin and bake for about 40 minutes. Then stick a toothpick into the centre - it will come out clean when it's ready.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Sep 2008)

Malay-style roast chicken

Fire up your tastebuds with the robust, tantalising flavours of this dish.

Ingredients (serves 4):
1 chicken, head and feet removed
5 dried red chillies, soaked in hot water for 5 minutes and drained
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 thumb-sized piece ginger, peeled
1 thumb-sized piece galangal, peeled
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp soya sauce
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 stalk lemongrass (white part only), bruised
1/4 cup coconut milk

1. Make cuts on the breasts and thighs of the chicken.
2. Grind or pound the chillies, coriander and cumin seeds, ginger, galangal, garlic, oil and soya sauce to a fine paste. Add the turmeric powder and salt. Mix well.
3. Rub marinade all over the chicken and leave in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
4. Leave the lemongrass to steep in the coconut milk for 1 hour.
5. Pre-heat oven to 225 deg C. Lightly grease a roasting tin before putting the chicken in.
6. Baste the chicken with the lemongrass-infused coconut milk and roast for 1 1/2 hours, basting occasionally with the coconut milk.

For a more fiery flavour, use fresh red chillies rather than dried ones.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Sep 2008)

Bellini jelly

This elegant non-alcoholic cocktail makes the perfect after-dinner treat.

Ingredients (serves 4):
5 tsp Bake King gelatine powder
1/4 cup warm water
1 bottle peach flavoured Pink Dolphin (500ml)
3-4 Del Monte peach halves, diced

1. In a small bowl, add the gelatine powder to the warm water. Let it stand for 5 minutes, until the gelatine becomes spongy. Stir to dissolve.
2. Pour the Pink Dolphin drink into a small measuring jug and stir in the gelatine mixture.
3. Place half the peaches into 4 champagne glasses. Using a fine sieve, strain the Pink Dolphin mixture into the glasses until they are half filled.
4. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour, or until slightly firm.
5. In another bowl, mix the remaining peaches with the rest of the Pink Dolphin mixture and set aside at room temperature.
6. When the jelly in the fridge is firm, fill the glasses with the rest of the peaches. Refrigerate for another hour until firm. Serve chilled.

Serve the bellini straight from the fridge - the jelly turns watery when left at room temperature.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Sep 2008)

Thai beef and potato curry

Potato - Part 3.

A hale and hearty pot of goodness.

Ingredients (serves 4):
2 small potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 cup coconut cream
1 tbsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground fennel
2 cups coconut milk
500g chunk tender beef, trimmed and cut into large cubes
1 tbsp sugar
2-3 tbsp fish sauce

For the curry paste:
8 dried chillies, soaked in hot water
4 shallots
3 cloves garlic
1 lemongrass stem, white part only, sliced
4cm piece of galangal

1. Blitz all the curry paste ingredients in a food processor to form a paste.
2. Cook the potatoes in salted boiling water for about 10 minutes until they are firm to the touch. Drain and set aside.
3. In a saucepan, bring the coconut cream to a boil. Simmer for 10-12 minutes or until it "cracks" (when it separates and forms a layer of oil on the surface).
4. Add the curry paste and cook for 5 minutes, or until fragrant. Stir in the coriander, cumin and fennel, and mix well.
5. Add the coconut milk, beef, sugar and fish sauce and simmer for 1 hour, or until the beef is tender. Add the potatoes and cook for another 10 minutes.
6. Serve hot with steamed rice.

Add a few fresh red chillies to the curry paste mix for a more intense flavour.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Mar 2008)

Vichyssoise (chilled leek and potato soup)

Potato - Part 2.

A rich and aromatic vegetable broth.

Ingredients (serves 4):
40g butter
2 leeks, white part only, cut in half and thinly sliced
1 white onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 tsp salt
1 litre chicken stock
1/4 cup whipping cream
Freshly grated nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper
A handful of chopped chives

1. In a pot, heat the butter and fry the leeks and onion over medium-low heat until very soft, about 20 minutes. Don't let them brown. Add the potatoes and salt, and stir for a minute.
2. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Lower heat and let it simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft.
3. Let the soup cool, then use a hand blender to puree till smooth, or pour into a blender.
4. Stir in the cream and mix well. Add nutmeg and pepper.
5. Chill for at least 4 hours. Sprinkle with chopped chives before serving.

Cook this the night before and serve it for dinner the next day. Add some cooked prawns if you like.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Mar 2008)

Aloo gobi (spicy potatoes and cauliflower)

Potato - Part 1.

Fire up your taste buds.

Ingredients (serves 4 to 6):
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 green chillies, sliced
5cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely shredded
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
Salt to taste
300g new potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 small head of cauliflower, cut into florets
1 tsp garam masala
A bunch of coriander leaves

1. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the cumin seeds for 30 seconds. Lower heat, add the chillies and ginger, and stir-fry until fragrant.
2. Add turmeric, ground coriander and salt. Stir to mix. Add the potatoes and cauliflower and stir to coat spices evenly.
3. Add a splash of water and cook over low heat until vegetables soften, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the pan gets dry, add a splash of water at a time.
4. Turn up the heat and gently toss the vegetables in the pan to dry off excess water.
5. Stir in the garam masala and serve hot, garnished with coriander leaves.

Leftover Aloo gobi makes for great samosa filling. Fold thawed popiah skin in half to make triangles, fill and deep-fry.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Mar 2008)

Crayfish risotto

Contrary to popular belief, making rosotto really is as simple as this.

Ingredients (serves 2):
10g dried porcini mushroom (available at Carrefour)
3 crayfish, cleaned, shelled and halved
60g butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup Arborio rice
4 cups prawn stock, heated through
30g grated Parmesan cheese (plus slightly more to garnish)
Salt and pepper

1. Soak mushrooms in boiling water and set aside. Dice the flesh of 2 crayfish.
2. Heat the butter in a small pan, add the crayfish meat and crayfish halves and cook till it turns white, about 1 minute. Remove and set aside.
3. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and add the rice. Stir till the rice grains sound like glass beads clinking against one another.
4. Add the warmed prawn stock, one ladle at a time. Stirring constantly, allow the rice to absorb each ladleful of stock before adding the next. It should take about 20 minutes.
5. Strain the mushrooms with a fine sieve and discard the water.
6. Add the mushrooms, cheese and cooked crayfish to the risotto. Season to taste, and garnish with a crayfish half and more Parmesan cheese. Serve hot.

If you don't have prawn stock, mix 2 cups of bottled lobster bisque (available at Carrefour) with 2 cups of water.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Mar 2008)

Mango ice cream cake

A refreshing tea-time treat you can prepare in a jiffy.

Ingredients (serves 4):
1 box Sara Lee All Butter All Purpose Pound Cake
1 tub Dreyer's Toasted Almond ice cream
2 mangoes, skinned and sliced
2 tbsp orange marmalade
2 tbsp hot water

1. Cut out the base from the pound cake block with a cookie cutter.
2. Leave the cookie cutter intact and add the ice cream till it's just under the brim.
3. Add the mangoes, then remove the cookie cutter carefully to retain the shape of the cake.
4. To make the glaze, mix the orange marmalade and hot water in a small bowl until it is slightly diluted. Then brush on the top of the mango.
5. Leave in the freezer for at least 6 hours.

For a stronger mango flavour, add pureed mango to the ice cream.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Mar 2008)

Crab cakes with caramelised vinaigrette sauce

These baked crab cakes will be a hit at beach outings and dinner parties alike.

Ingredients (serves 4):
For crab cakes:
400g cooked crab meat
1 small carrot, parboiled and finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
A handful of coriander leaves, finely chopped
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp powdered mustard
1 1/2 tsp oyster sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp white pepper
3 tbsp panko flakes (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/4 cup olive oil

For the coating:
1 cup flour
1 egg, beaten
1 cup panko flakes

Vinaigrette sauce:
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 tbsp brown sugar

1. Mash the crab meat and remove excess water. Mix with the rest of the ingredients.
2. Roll small handfuls of the mixture into balls and flatten into patties.
3. Coat the crab cakes with flour, followed by egg and panko flakes.
4. Place the crab cakes on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Brush olive oil on crab cakes, then bake at 175 deg C for 20 minutes, until golden brown.
5. Mix all the sauce ingredients in a saucepan, then simmer on low heat until the sauce thickens. Drizzle over crab cakes just before serving.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Mar 2008)

Vanilla rice pudding

Ingredients (serves 6 to 8):
1 cup water
A pinch of salt
1/2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup Arborio rice
2 cups FairPrice Fresh Milk or FairPrice High Cal Milk
4 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

1. Bring water, salt, and butter to a boil in a medium saucepan.
2. Add the rice, return to a boil, then reduce the heat to the lowest setting. Stir occasionally and cook until the rice has absorbed the water but is still firm to the bite, about 15 minutes.
3. Bring milk, sugar, vanilla, and a few dashes of cinnamon to a simmer in a separate saucepan. Add the cooked rice and simmer over medium-low heat until the rice absorbs most of the milk and the mixture starts to get thick and silky, about 10 to 15 minutes.
4. Transfer pudding to a large bowl and cool to room temperature. Place in refrigerator until it cools and sets.

Recipe uses FairPrice’s High Cal milk and Fresh Milk ($2.75 for a 1-litre carton) available at all FairPrice supermarkets.

This recipe for rice pudding is a wonderful way to use leftover milk in the fridge.

You can top it with fruit such as chopped strawberries or peaches, or substitute them with others like chopped plums or a few spoonfuls of fruit jam.

Recipe source: Today newspaper (9 Oct 2008)

Mushroom soup

Ingredients (serves 6):
100g unsalted butter
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely diced
600g mixed mushrooms (such as white button, Portobello, shiitake or brown field mushrooms), diced into very small pieces
Salt and black pepper to taste
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 litre chicken stock
1 sachet bouquet garni
freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 cup cream

1. In a large saucepan, heat the butter and gently sweat the shallots, garlic and celery without browning them, 5 minutes.
2. Add the diced mushrooms, season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and cover the pan. Sweat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add the wine, let it bubble for a minute or two, then add the stock.
4. Bring to a boil, then add the bouquet garni and simmer gently for 20 minutes or so.
5. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add a few gratings of nutmeg.
6. Add the cream and taste again. Adjust seasoning and remove the bouquet garni sachet.
7. You can serve it hot as it is, or blitz it in a blender so that the soup is smooth.

Serve recipe with FairPrice’s garlic bread ($3.95 for 450g) available at all FairPrice supermarkets.

Recipe source: Today newspaper (18 Sep 2008)

Caesar salad with chicken popcorn

Ingredients (serves 4):
2 heads Romaine lettuce, washed and cut just above the root
5 rashers bacon
2 eggs
20g Parmesan cheese, shaved
16 pieces FairPrice Chicken Popcorn
2 cups vegetable oil

2 small cloves garlic
25g Parmesan cheese, finely grated
3 very fresh eggs
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Juice of 1 lemon
5 anchovy fillets
500ml olive oil
Sea salt to taste

1. Lay the bacon on a piece of greaseproof paper and place on a baking tray. Place in a 180°C oven for 20 minutes, until brown and crisp.
2. Place the 2 eggs in a saucepan of tap water. Bring the water to a rolling boil and then turn it off. Let the eggs steep in the hot water for 3 minutes, remove and rinse in cold water. Set aside.
3. In a deep-fryer or a deep pan, heat the oil till it starts to smoke gently.
4. Fry the Chicken Popcorn in the oil until golden and crisp for about 6 minutes, then remove. Drain on kitchen towels.
5. To make the dressing, blend the garlic, cheese, 3 eggs, mustard, lemon juice and anchovies in a blender until smooth. Add the oil very slowly and blend as you add. Taste and season with salt — you won’t need much as the cheese and anchovies are salty.
6. Remove the bacon from the oven, pat on kitchen towels to absorb the oil and crush into bits.
7. Tear the Romaine lettuce into bitesized pieces and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle with bacon bits.
8. Toss the lettuce and bacon bits with some of the dressing (you will have some dressing left over, which you can keep for a day in the fridge).
9. Sprinkle the Parmesan shavings over the salad.
10. Peel the shells from the eggs and break the eggs into halves over the salad.
11. Serve with the Chicken Popcorn.

Recipe uses FairPrice Chicken Popcorn ($5.60 for 500g) available at all FairPrice supermarkets.

Besides using Chicken Popcorn, you could also fry up a batch of FairPrice Chicken Fillets or Chicken Fingers to munch on alongside.

Recipe source: Today newspaper (11 Sep 2008)

Stir-fried asparagus with prawns and shimeiji mushrooms

Ingredients (serves 3 to 4):
1 packet FairPrice Pasar Organic Asparagus
8 grey prawns, peeled and de-veined
1 small packet shimeiji mushrooms, washed and cut above the roots
4 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp FairPrice oyster sauce
1 tsp sugar
3 tbsp water

For the paste, pound together:
3 cloves garlic, peeled
3 tbsp coriander roots, thoroughly washed
2 red chillies

1. Wash the asparagus and cut about 1cm off the base of the stems and discard. Cut the remaining asparagus into three approximately 5cm pieces each. Set aside.
2. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok over high heat.
3. Add the prawns and paste and stir-fry for about 2 minutes.
4. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook for another 3 minutes, or until the asparagus is tender.
5. Serve hot with steamed white rice.

Recipe uses FairPrice’s Pasar Organic Asparagus ($3 per pkt of 200g) available at selected FairPrice supermarkets.

Asparagus is one of the most nutritionally well-balanced vegetables in existence. It is rich in folic acid, which has been shown to help prevent neural defects in babies. In fact, a 150g serving of asparagus provides 60 per cent of the recommended daily allowance of folic acid, which is also vital for blood cell formation, growth and the prevention of liver disease.

High in fibre and low on sodium, asparagus is also lean on calorie content, which makes it an ideal vegetable for the health-conscious. It is also a good source of potassium and thiamin, and is one of the richest sources of rutin, a compound that strengthens our capillary walls.

You can also replace the prawns with thinly sliced beef and use shiitake or oyster mushrooms in place of shimeiji.

Recipe source: Today newspaper (4 Sep 2008)

Glutinous rice with pork belly dried prawns and mushrooms

Ingredients (serves 8 to 10):
500g FairPrice glutinous rice
100g dried prawns
12 dried mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, chopped
500g pork belly, sliced into thin strips
10 tbsp canola oil
6 tbsp dark soy sauce
3 tbsp light soy sauce
Pepper to taste

1. Soak the glutinous rice in a bowl of water overnight. Drain.
2. Place the rice in a steamer and steam for about 40 minutes, or until soft.
3. In separate bowls, soak the mushroom and dried prawns in hot water for 10 minutes. Drain.
4. Discard the mushroom stems and slice the caps. Roughly chop the dried prawns.
5. Heat the oil in a wok and fry garlic and pork belly for 3 minutes.
6. Add the mushrooms and dried prawns and fry for another 3 minutes.
7. Add the light and dark soy sauces and fry till the ingredients are well cooked, about 4 minutes. Set aside.
8. When the rice is steamed, transfer it to the wok and mix it well with the rest of the ingredients.
9. Then return it all to the steamer (do this in two batches if your steamer is small) and steam for a further 10 minutes.
10. Serve garnished with chopped chillies, spring onions, coriander or fried onions.

Recipe uses FairPrice glutinous rice ($5.15 for 2.5kg) available at all FairPrice supermarkets.

This dish usually consists of steamed glutinous rice, soy sauce, Chinese sausages, slices of pork, dried mushrooms and dried prawns or scallops — it all depends on your preference.

Recipe source: Today newspaper (21 Aug 2008)

Lebanese milk pudding

For the pudding:
500ml FairPrice full cream or skim milk
50ml orange blossom water or rosewater
75g granulated sugar
2 tbsp cornflour

For the syrup:
500g granulated sugar
300ml cold water
1 tbsp lemon juice

To garnish:
1 tbsp chopped pistachio

1. To make the pudding, pour the milk and orange blossom water or rosewater into a saucepan with the sugar and gently bring to a boil.
2. Place the corn flour in a small bowl and add about 3 tbsp of hot milk from the saucepan to make a smooth paste.
3. Whisk in the corn flour paste and stir continuously until the liquid boils and thickens.
4. Remove from the heat and pour into individual serving cups.
5. Leave to cool then chill in the fridge for at least one hour.
6. To make the syrup, place the sugar, water and lemon juice into a saucepan and stir over a medium heat till all the sugar has dissolved.
7. Simmer for 15 minutes, until the syrup is light golden. Leave to cool.
8. When ready to serve, gently warm the syrup and drizzle over the pudding.
9. Add a scattering of pistachio and serve immediately.

Recipe uses FairPrice full cream or skim milk ($1.75 for 1litre carton) available at all FairPrice supermarkets.

Recipe source: Today newspaper (14 Aug 2008)

Refreshing honey and lemon drink

Ingredients (makes about 4 cups):
3/4 cup organic honey
1 1/2 cups hot water
4 cups cold water (or 4 cups soda water, if you prefer your drinks bubbly)
2 tbsp freshly-squeezed lemon juice

1. In a jug, mix the honey with the hot water until the honey is completely dissolved.
2. Add the cold water or soda water, then the lemon juice.
3. Stir to combine and serve with plenty of ice.

Serve with FairPrice Sweet Popcorn 200g ($1.84) available at all FairPrice supermarkets.

Recipe source: Today newspaper (17 Jul 2008)

Roast chicken with rosemary and lemon

Ingredients (serves 3 to 4):
3 tbsp FairPrice Extra Light Olive Oil
4 pieces chicken thigh
1 onion, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp fresh or dried rosemary
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp honey
1/2 cup white wine
2 tbsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Mix salt and pepper, onion, garlic, rosemary, Worcestershire sauce and olive oil in a large bowl.
2. Toss and coat chicken with the marinade ingredients. Set aside in the refrigerator for one to two hours.
3. Arrange chicken and marinade ingredients in a large roasting tray. Brush some honey over the chicken skin.
4. Place the tray in the oven and roast the chicken at 180 deg C, setting the timer at 40 minutes.
5. After 30 minutes, take the chicken out and baste it with some of the pan juices. Add the wine and lemon juice to the roasting tray and combine with the remaining pan juices. Put the tray back in the oven for 10 minutes.
6. Turn oven off and wait five minutes before removing chicken from the oven.

Recipe uses FairPrice Extra Light Olive Oil 1 litre ($13.50) available at all FairPrice supermarkets.

When the meat is cooked, serve it with hot potatoes or steamed rice. You may substitute the thigh pieces with drumsticks, depending on your preference. And, instead of using rosemary, other herbs such as tarragon or thyme will work just as well.

Recipe source: Today newspaper (10 Jul 2008)

Kaya swirl cupcakes

Ingredients (makes 12):
140g butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
200g plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder

1. Pre-heat oven to 180 deg C.
2. Line 12 muffin tins with paper liners.
3. Sift flour, salt and baking powder together into a bowl.
4. In another bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
5. Add the eggs in one at a time until fully incorporated — don’t worry if the batter doesn’t look smooth. Add the vanilla essence.
6. Stir in the sifted flour, salt and baking powder until no flour remains.
7. Using an ice-cream scoop, fill the muffin liners with batter. Each should come up to three-quarters full.
8. Top each cake with a heaped teaspoon of kaya and swirl it in using a toothpick.
9. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove and leave on a wire rack to cool.

Recipe uses FairPrice Hainanese Kaya with Honey ($2.19) available at all FairPrice supermarkets.

Recipe source: Today newspaper (3 Jul 2008)

Mini hamburgers

Ingredients (serves 6):
1 packet mini hamburger buns
1 butterhead lettuce, leaves separated
1 packet FairPrice Reduced Fat Cheese Slices
1 tomato, sliced
300g minced beef
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/4 tsp salt
A dash of black pepper
3 tbsp olive oil

1. To make the beef patties, mix the minced beef with the chopped onion, salt and black pepper in a bowl. Then, form into small patties using your hands.
2. Heat the olive oil in a skillet, then fry the patties until they are fully cooked through — about 4 minutes on each side. Set aside.
3. Cut the buns into half cross-wise.
4. On one half of the buns, place a slice of tomato, followed by a butterhead lettuce leaf, a beef patty and a slice of cheese. Cover with the other half of the bun.
5. Serve with ketchup on the side.

Recipe uses FairPrice Reduced Fat Cheese Slices ($2.95) available at all FairPrice supermarkets.

Recipe source: Today newspaper (19 Jun 2008)

Instant noodles with beef bulgogi and kim chi

Ingredients (serves 2):
150g thinly-sliced beef (sukiyaki beef)
1/4 cup light soy sauce
3 tbsp rice vinegar
2 spring onions, finely chopped
Thumb-sized piece of ginger, finely chopped
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp chilli flakes or chilli powder
2 packets FairPrice Authentic Korean Noodles (Udong flavour)
4 tbsp store-bought kim chi
3 tbsp vegetable oil

1. Combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, spring onions, sugar, ginger, sesame oil and chilli flakes or chilli powder in a bowl. Whisk well to blend.
2. Place the beef slices in the marinade and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. Heat the oil in a frying or grill pan then fry the beef slices until they are lightly cooked. Remove and set aside.
4. To make the instant noodles, follow the instructions on the packet.
5. Top the instant noodles with the kim chi and beef. Serve hot.

Recipe uses FairPrice Authentic Korean Noodles ($3.41) available at all FairPrice supermarkets.

Recipe source: Today newspaper (5 Jun 2008)

Chicken ala king

Ingredients (serves 4):
50g butter
1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup milk
2 Organic Prairie chicken breast fillets
6 fresh mushrooms, stems removed and quartered
1 red pepper, seeded and finely diced

1. Fill a saucepan with water and bring it to a rolling boil.
2. Add the chicken breast fillets. After 3 minutes, turn off the heat and cover with a lid. Set aside for half an hour. The chicken will poach in the heated liquid.
3. When the chicken has cooled, dice it.
4. In another saucepan, melt the butter then whisk in the flour and salt.
5. Slowly add the milk and chicken stock, whisking as you go to get a smooth sauce.
6. Cook, stirring constantly until the sauce becomes thick and bubbly, for about 10 minutes.
7. Add the diced chicken, red peppers and mushrooms and continue to cook for a further 10 minutes.
8. Season to taste and serve hot.

Recipe uses Organic Prairie Chicken Breast Fillets ($59.30 per kg) available at FairPrice Finest.

This is a very retro dish circa the 1970s, when mother and aunties would serve it poured over buttered toast, puff pastry or even choux pastry cases.

Recipe source: Today newspaper (29 May 2008)

Steamed fish with ginger and spring onion sauce

Ingredients (serves 4):
2 x 200g cod fillet
Salt and white pepper
4 bok choy, cut into half

For the sauce:
1 tbsp FairPrice oyster sauce
3 tbsp cooking oil
3 tbsp light soy sauce
4 tbsp water
3 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, sliced finely
4 spring onions (white parts only), chopped into 1-inch pieces
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp sesame oil

To serve:
4 spring onions (green parts only), finely sliced
1 red chilli, sliced lengthwise

1. Season the fish in salt and white pepper and steam for 10 minutes until the flesh flakes easily when tested with a fork.
2. To make the sauce, heat the oil in a saucepan.
3. Add the ginger and garlic and fry for about 30 seconds, until it becomes fragrant but not browned.
4. Add the rest of the ingredients.
5. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 2 minutes.
6. Blanch the bok choy for 30 seconds in boiling water. Drain well.
7. To serve, place the bok choy at the bottom of the plate and place the fish over it. Pour the sauce over the fish and garnish with the spring onions and chilli.

Recipe uses FairPrice Premium Oyster Sauce ($2.45) available at all FairPrice supermarkets.

You can pour this sauce over any firm white fish, be it a pomfret or snapper. Just make sure that the fish you use is the freshest.

Recipe source: Today newspaper (22 May 2008)

Strawberry and peach trifle

Ingredients (serves 4):
1 cup whipping cream
1 can sliced cling peaches, diced
10 strawberries, green tops removed, washed and sliced
1 packet berry-flavoured jello powder
Half a packet of FairPrice vanilla pound cake
1 packet vanilla custard

1. Cut the pound cake into small pieces and arrange the pieces in the bottom of a large bowl or in several wine glasses.
2. Prepare the jello according to the instructions on the packet.
3. Pour enough of the jello mixture to cover the cake completely. Place in the fridge for 10 minutes so that the jello firms up a little.
4. Take the bowl or wine glasses out of the fridge and pour a layer of custard over the cake and jello.
5. Arrange a layer of sliced strawberries over the custard.
6. Arrange a layer of diced peaches over the strawberries.
7. Whip the cream to soft peaks, then pour a layer of the cream over the peaches.
8. Refrigerate for at least 5 hours or overnight.
9. Serve topped with mint leaves, fruit, or crushed cookies.

Recipe uses FairPrice Pound Cake ($2.85) available at all FairPrice supermarkets.

You could soak your cake in a few spoonfuls of sherry too, but the recipe here is for a child-friendly version that will cater to the entire family.

Make this a day in advance so that the trifle will have time to firm up in the fridge.

Recipe source: Today newspaper (15 May 2008)

Chicken curry

Ingredients (serves 4):
1 chicken, cut into pieces
2 potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 large onion
4 cloves garlic
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, skinned
1 stick cinnamon
1 cardamom pod
5 star anise
6 to 8 curry leaves
3 tbsp curry powder
1/2 cup plain yoghurt
2 tomatoes, quartered
3 green chillies, each snapped into two pieces
1 tsp salt
A dash of white pepper
4 tbsp vegetable oil

1. Rub the salt and pepper into the chicken pieces and set aside.
2. Pound the onion, garlic and ginger to a paste.
3. Heat two tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan or a wok and fry the paste with the cinnamon, cardamom pod, star anise and curry leaves until fragrant.
4. Mix the curry powder with three tablespoons of water to form a paste.
5. Add the curry paste to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, for about 5 to 7 minutes.
6. Remove the curry mixture from the pan and set aside.
7. In the same pan, heat another two tablespoons of oil and fry the chicken pieces and potatoes until they are halfcooked. This should take about 8 minutes.
8. Stir in the curry mixture and toss so that the chicken pieces and potatoes are coated evenly.
9. Add in the yoghurt and half a cup of water, and stir.
10. Cook for about 30 minutes, or until the chicken is tender.
11. Add the tomatoes and green chillies, season to taste, and serve.

Serve with FairPrice frozen roti prata (plain: $1.83; spring onion: $2.15) available at all FairPrice supermarkets.

This chicken curry recipe is typical of that found in Eurasian or Peranakan kitchens. It has a sourish edge to it thanks to the use of yoghurt, but if you prefer, you can substitute the yoghurt for coconut milk.

Recipe source: Today newspaper (8 May 2008)

Mixed berry soya milk smoothie

Ingredients (serves 2):
2 cups FairPrice Hi-Calcium Fresh Soya Milk, well chilled
10 strawberries (frozen or very chilled)
1/2 cup raspberries (frozen or very chilled)
3 to 5 tbsp honey, at room temperature (depending on how sweet your berries are)

1. Place all the ingredients in a blender and blitz until smooth.
2. Pour into two glasses and serve right away, or refrigerate until the next morning.

Recipe uses FairPrice Hi-Calcium Fresh Soya Milk ($1.45) available at all FairPrice supermarkets.

The smoothie in this recipe can be made the night before. Leave it in the fridge and drink it cold in the morning.

You can be creative by adding a banana, or using mangoes and fresh peaches in place of berries. But if you do this, consume the smoothie immediately as bananas, peaches and mangoes tend to oxidise quickly.

Also, you’ll want to vary the amount of honey used based on the sweetness of your fruit. So, start with three tablespoons of honey and add more if needed.

Recipe source: Today newspaper (1 May 2008)

Fish & chips

Ingredients (serves 3 to 4):
1 packet sutchi fillet from FairPrice, thawed
Half a packet FairPrice French Fries
2 litres vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups plain flour
1 cup beer or soda water
2 egg whites
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
Malted vinegar
Tartar sauce

1. Pour the oil into a deep wok or a deep fryer and heat to 190 deg C.
2. In a clean dry bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks.
3. Combine 1 cup flour, the beer or soda water, and a pinch of salt in another bowl, to form a smooth batter.
4. Fold in the egg whites gently and set aside.
5. Mix the remaining 1/4 cup flour, salt and paprika and place on a plate.
6. One by one, dip both sides of the fish fillets in this flour mixture to coat evenly, then shake off any excess flour.
7. Again, one by one, dip the floured fish fillets into the batter and then place them in the hot oil.
8. Fry for a minute or two on each side until golden brown, then drain on kitchen paper.
9. When all your fish are fried, ensure that the oil is hot enough again and then fry the French fries.
10. Drain on kitchen paper and set aside.
11. Portion the fish and chips onto individual plates and serve sprinkled with malted vinegar and tartar sauce on the side.

Recipe uses Sutchi fillet and FairPrice French Fries ($2.75 each) available at all FairPrice supermarkets.

When it comes to ensuring crisp batter and fries that aren’t overly greasy, it is important to use good, clean oil, heated to about 190 deg C. You can test if the oil is hot enough by dropping a small piece of bread or a drop of batter into it. If the bread or batter creates bubbles and rises to the surface, the oil is hot enough.

When the battered fish is put into well-heated oil, the batter will quickly form a shield, preventing the oil from penetrating the cool fish inside. The fish will then cook by indirect heating, rendering its batter crisp and the meat inside cooked but not greasy.

If the oil is not hot enough, it will seep through the food before the batter has formed a protective layer. That’s when you get greasy fish that’s unpleasant to eat. This applies to all deep-fried foods.

Also, you’ll want to fry foods made of vegetables — such as the fries — while they are frozen, to limit the fat absorption. And don’t overcrowd your deep-fryer or wok as too much food will lower the oil’s temperature.

Recipe source: Today newspaper (17 Apr 2008)

Miso grilled pink ling cod

Ingredients (serves 2 to 3):
1 packet Pink Ling Cod from FairPrice, thawed
3 tbsp miso paste (buy the palest variation you can find)
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp mirin (sweet Japanese cooking wine)
1 tbsp sake or any dry white wine
3 tbsp olive oil

1. Several hours before baking, place the miso paste, sugar, mirin and sake into a large bowl and mix to a smooth paste.
2. Coat the fish fillets evenly with a thin layer of this paste and place them in a plastic bag.
3. Refrigerate for at least two hours.
4. About 20 minutes before serving, pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
5. Line a baking dish or tray with a piece of foil and arrange the fish on top in one layer.
6. Drizzle half the olive oil on top of the fillets and then turn the fillets around and drizzle the rest of the oil on the other side.
7. Bake for 15 minutes, or until fish is cooked but not dry.
8. Serve immediately.

Recipe uses Pink Ling Cod Fillet ($11.95 per 500g packet) available at all FairPrice supermarkets.

Serve it with grilled vegetables and baked baby potatoes, or with a bowl of plain porridge.

Recipe source: Today newspaper (3 Apr 2008)

Hot cross buns

Ingredients (makes 12):
50g caster sugar, plus 1 tsp
1 tbsp dried yeast
450g plain flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
75g raisins
Zest of 1 orange or lemon
50ml warmed milk
1 egg, beaten
50g butter, melted

For the glaze:
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp water

For the crosses:
80g plain flour
2 1/2 tbsp water

1. Heat 150ml of water until it reaches a point where you can place a finger in the water and still bear the heat comfortably. This is referred to as “hand-hot” water.
2. Stir the teaspoon of sugar into the water then sprinkle in the dried yeast. Leave until it forms a good frothy head, as with beer (about 5 to 10 minutes).
3. Meanwhile, sift the flour, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg into a mixing bowl. Then add the raisins and orange or lemon zest.
4. Heat the milk until hand-hot and set aside.
5. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the yeast mixture, then the milk, the egg and the butter.
6. Mix, starting by using a wooden spoon and finishing with your hands.
7. Transfer the dough onto a clean, smooth surface and knead it for about 6 to 8 minutes, until it feels smooth and elastic. After a while, it will stop sticking to the surface.
8. Place the dough back in the bowl and cover with a lightly oiled plastic bag.
9. Leave it in a warm place to rise so that it is double its original size. This should take about an hour (or faster on a very hot day or slower on a cooler day).
10. Take the dough out and knead it again so it goes back down to its original size.
11. Grease a baking sheet and divide the dough into 12 round portions. Arrange them on the greased baking sheets, leaving lots of room for expansion (You may have to do this in two batches).
12. Cover with the oiled plastic bag and leave to rise again for about 30 minutes.
13. Pre-heat your oven to 220 deg C. To make the crosses, mix the flour and the water in a bowl, then use your hands to work it into a pastry.
14. Flatten and roll it out, then cut into thin strips. Cross two strips on top of each bun.
15. Bake the buns for about 12 to 15 minutes.
16. Make the glaze by heating the sugar with the water until it has dissolved.
17. Brush the buns with the glaze as soon as they come out of the oven.
18. Serve warm, with butter.

Recipe uses FairPrice High Cal Milk ($2.45) available at all FairPrice supermarkets.

Recipe source: Today newspaper (20 Mar 2008)

Curry tuna samosas

Ingredients (makes 20):
1/2 packet large spring-roll skins
1 can FairPrice Tuna Flakes (any of the three flavours are suitable)
1 large potato, peeled and diced
4 tbsp cooking oil
Oil for frying
A pinch of salt
1 tbsp flour mixed with 2 tbsp water to form a paste

1. Heat the 4 tbsp of cooking oil in a pan and fry the diced potatoes with the salt until the potatoes are soft (this should take about 15 minutes), stirring often.
2. Remove them from the pan, then wipe the skillet with a kitchen towel to remove any excess grease.
3. Return the potatoes to the pan and pour in the can of tuna flakes.
4. Fry for 5 minutes, until the mixture is slightly dry. Set aside to cool.
5. Cut each spring-roll skin into three strips lengthwise.
6. Place one heaped teaspoon of the mixture at the end of each strip and fold one corner over diagonally to align with the opposite side of the strip. This should form a triangle at the base of the skin.
7. Continue folding the rest of the strip around the triangle.
8. Seal the final flap with a little flour-and-water paste.
9. When all the samosas are ready, fry them in very hot oil, a few at a time, until crisp and golden.
10. Drain on kitchen towels and serve.

Recipe uses FairPrice Curry Tuna Flakes ($1.45 per can) available at all FairPrice supermarkets.

Recipe source: Today newspaper (13 Mar 2008)

Chilled silken tofu and roasted tomato salad

Ingredients (serves 4):
1 packet FairPrice Silken Tofu
300g cherry tomatoes on the vine
6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
5 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt flakes or coarse salt
1/2 tsp fine sugar
Balsamic vinegar, to drizzle
1/4 tsp sesame oil
3 basil leaves, finely shredded

1. Preheat oven to 160 deg C.
2. Place the tomatoes, still on their vine, in a small baking dish together with the garlic.
3. Pour the olive oil over them and sprinkle with the salt and sugar.
4. Place in the oven for 30 minutes or until the tomatoes start to shrivel slightly.
5. Remove from the oven and cool.
6. Cut the tofu into eight even slices and arrange them on a serving dish.
7. Top with the tomatoes and garlic.
8. Spoon any olive oil left over in the baking dish on top.
9. Drizzle with some balsamic vinegar and sesame oil.
10. Scatter the basil over the dish and serve immediately.

Recipe uses FairPrice Silken Tofu available at all FairPrice supermarkets.

Recipe source: Today newspaper (6 Mar 2008)

Tomato basil and cheese crostinis

Crostinis are Italian open-faced sandwiches.

Ingredients (serves 3 as an appetiser):
Half a baguette, sliced cross-wise, about 1 inch thick
1 large tomato, chopped
A handful of fresh basil leaves, rinsed and patted dry with a paper towel
A small pinch of salt
50g mild goat’s cheese
FairPrice Canola Olive Spread

1. Lightly toast the baguette slices.
2. With a knife, spread a layer of FairPrice Canola Olive spread onto each slice of baguette.
3. Add the salt to the chopped tomatoes and toss in a bowl.
4. Place a slice of cheese on each piece of baguette, followed by a spoonful of chopped tomatoes. Top with a basil leaf.
5. Arrange on a platter and serve immediately.

Recipe uses FairPrice Canola Olive spread ($3.85) available at all FairPrice supermarkets.

You can substitute mild goat’s cheese with fresh buffalo mozzarella, or any other mild, soft cheese of your choice. You can even add a bit of finely chopped fresh garlic if you want to add an extra zing.

If you want to turn it into a light lunch, simply use sliced bread instead of baguette.

Recipe source: Today newspaper (28 Feb 2008)

Red bean potong with green tea sauce

Ingredients (serves 5):
5 sticks FairPrice red bean Potong ice cream
1/2 tbsp green tea powder
2 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp hot water
1/4 cup heavy cream

1. Put the sugar and green tea powder in a bowl.
2. Add the hot water and stir well.
3. Add heavy cream and stir until combined.
4. Pour through a fine strainer. Set aside.
5. Arrange the ice cream on a plate and drizzle a little green tea sauce over each popsicle. Serve immediately.

Recipe uses Potong ice cream ($2.95 per box of 6) available at all FairPrice supermarkets.

This recipe makes more sauce than you’ll use on the Potong popsicles, so save the remainder in the fridge in an air-tight container for up to four days. You can drizzle it on anything from vanilla ice cream to a simple pound cake.

Recipe source: Today newspaper (21 Feb 2008)

Braised baby abalone with XO sauce

Ingredients (serves 6):
1/2 cup XO sauce
2 slices picnic ham, thinly sliced
1 can Golden Chef Baby Abalone
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp light soy sauce
1 small head of broccoli, cut into florets
80g kai lan shoots (or any other type of vegetable, such as cai xin or bok choy)

1. Blanch the broccoli and kai lan, drain well and arrange on a platter.
2. Drain the baby abalone, reserving half of the brine. You may slice the abalone thinly or serve them whole. Set aside.
3. Combine the XO sauce, ham and brine in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
4. Add the abalone, give it a quick stir and take the saucepan off the heat.
5. Add the sesame oil, soy sauce, salt and pepper. Mix well.
6. Pour over the vegetables. Serve hot.

Recipe uses Golden Chef Baby Abalone available at all FairPrice supermarkets.

Recipe source: Today newspaper (31 Jan 2008)

Stir-fried limpets with mushrooms and asparagus

Ingredients (serves 4 to 6):
1 can Golden Chef limpets
5 fresh shitake mushrooms, washed and with their stems removed
1 bunch enoki mushrooms, washed and with their base stems removed
1 small bunch shimeiji mushrooms, washed and with their base stems removed
1 packet baby asparagus, washed and cut into half cross-wise
1 tsp cornstarch, mixed with some water to form a paste
2 tbsp cooking oil

For the sauce:
1 tsp oyster sauce
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp hua tiao wine
1 tsp light soy sauce

1. Remove limpets from the can and slice them up. Reserve 4 tbsp of the stock for later.
2. Cut the shitake mushrooms into quarters.
3. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl with the 4 tbsp of stock. Set aside.
4. Heat the oil in a wok over a very high flame until the oil starts to shimmer.
5. Throw in all the mushrooms, asparagus and limpets and stir-fry quickly.
6. Add in the sauce and toss for a minute.
7. Add the cornstarch paste and cook for a further 30 seconds.
8. Serve hot.

Recipe uses Golden Chef Limpets ($9.99 per can) available at all FairPrice supermarkets.

Recipe source: Today newspaper (17 Jan 2008)

Locos with nuoc cham

Ingredients (serves 4 to 6):
1 can Golden Chef Locos
2 red chillies, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 tbsp shaved palm sugar
2 tbsp lime juice
3 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
3 tbsp water

1. Reserve about a teaspoon of chopped chillies for the garnish, then pound the rest of the chilli and garlic into a paste.
2. Add the palm sugar, lime juice, fish sauce, vinegar and water, then stir until the sugar is dissolved.
3. Drain the locos and slice them thinly.
4. Lay the sliced locos on a platter and drizzle the nuoc cham dressing over them.
5. Garnish with coriander or mint leaves and chopped chillies.

Recipe uses Golden Chef Locos ($16.10 per can) available at all FairPrice supermarkets.

Recipe source: Today newspaper (10 Jan 2008)

Fish curry

Coconut - Part 3.

An all-time favourite.

Ingredients (serves 4):
1 tbsp olive oil
2 red snapper fillets
4 tbsp fish curry powder
2 tbsp water
1 big onion, peeled and cut into chunks
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2 carrots, cut into chunks
1/2 cup curry leaves
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp ginger powder
3 cups water
2 medium eggplants, halved and cut into 3cm pieces
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup fresh coconut milk
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves

1. In a pot, heat the olive oil and saute the fillets for 5 minutes on each side. Remove and set aside. Mix the curry powder with 2 tbsp water to form a paste. Set aside.
2. Heat the oil again and saute the onion, garlic, carrots, curry leaves, coriander powder and ginger powder over medium heat until fragrant.
3. Add the curry paste and stir-fry for 5 minutes. Add the water, eggplants, salt and pepper and leave to boil on high heat for 15 minutes.
4. Once the curry thickens, add the fillets and cook for 10 minutes. Add the coconut milk and simmer for another 2 minutes. Garnish with cherry tomatoes and coriander leaves before serving.

Cook curry the day before and keep it in the fridge. While reheating, add the coconut milk when it starts to boil.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Jul 2008)

Coconut lime pie

Coconut - Part 2.

Perfect for those with a sweet tooth.

Ingredients (makes 6):
1 packet shortcrust pastry
200g cream cheese
1/2 cup castor sugar
1 egg, beaten
100g thickened cream
3 tsp lime rind, plus extra to garnish
2 cups fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 cup fresh coconut milk

1. Pre-heat the oven to 175 deg C. Roll the shortcrust pastry to a 6mm thickness, and using a 4cm cookie cutter, cut out 6 circles and place each into a ramekin.
2. In each, place a sheet of parchment paper on the pastry and weigh it down with red beans. Blind bake for 10 minutes. Remove the red beans and parchment paper from the ramekin.
3. With a hand mixer, blend the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Do the same with the egg and cream.
4. Combine the lime rind, lime juice, vanilla essence and coconut milk in a bowl. Add to the first mixture and blend till smooth.
5. Pour into the ramekins and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, garnish and serve.

For extra crunch, add some coconut shavings into the pastry before the last step of baking.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Jul 2008)

Seaweed coconut strips with plum sauce

To get fresh coconut milk for curry, add a cup of lukewarm water to one grated coconut for the first squeeze, and two cups of water for the second squeeze.

Do not leave open packets of coconut milk in the fridge for over a day as they spoil easily.

For smooth coconut milk, pass it through a fine sieve followed by a muslin cloth.

Coconut - Part 1.

Crispy, with a tangy dip.

Ingredients (serves 4):
8 pieces spring roll sheets
4 pieces nori sheets (Japanese seaweed)
1 cup freshly grated coconut
1 egg white
1/4 cup olive oil

Plum sauce:
2 tbsp plum sauce
3 tbsp cold water
3 tsp mix of black and white sesame seeds

1. Trim the spring roll sheets and nori sheets into same-size squares. Place a nori sheet on a spring roll sheet and sprinkle a handful of grated coconut on it. Brush with egg white and place another spring roll sheet on top.
2. Cut into 4 equal strips and fold each strip in half. Use the egg white to seal the sides. Repeat for the rest.
3. In a pot, heat the oil and fry the strips on medium heat until golden brown. Remove and garnish with more grated coconut.
4. Mix the plum sauce ingredients well, and serve as a dip.

Instead of plum sauce, try serving with Thai sweet chilli sauce.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Jul 2008)

Kofte kebabs

A nutritious Middle Eastern dish.

Ingredients (serves 4):
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp garam masala
1 medium onion, finely chopped
A bunch of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
600g minced beef or lamb
1/4 cup olive oil
1 packet pita bread, toasted and cut into small triangles
1 tomato, diced
20g butter, melted
1/2 tsp paprika
175g (1 tub) plain yogurt, warmed
A handful of pine nuts, lightly toasted

1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 deg C. In a large bowl, mix the salt, cumin, coriander, garam masala, onions and parsley into the beef or lamb.
2. Shape the mixture into sausages.
3. Place the sausages on a baking tray, brush with olive oil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove and set aside.
4. Arrange the pita bread triangles on a plate and place the sausages over them.
5. Mix the tomatoes with the melted butter and paprika.
6. Spoon the warm yogurt over the sausages, followed by the tomato and butter mixture. Top with pine nuts and serve.

Serve the sausages on basmati rice instead of pita bread.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Jul 2008)

Portobello and leek toast

Ingredients (serves 2):
2 tsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped finely
1/2 small leek, sliced thinly
6 to 8 small portobello mushrooms
A pinch of sea salt
A pinch of pepper
A dash of chilli flake
4 slices of wholemeal bread
Camembert or Cheddar cheese

1. Heat 1 tsp of olive oil in a pan and brown the garlic until fragrant. Add the leeks and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Remove from pan.
2. Heat up the remaining oil and saute the mushrooms until tender, about 2 minutes.
3. Turn off the fire. Mix the leeks and mushrooms, and season with salt, pepper and chilli flakes.
4. Lightly butter the bread and make a sandwich using the cheese, leeks and mushrooms.
5. Toast the sandwich on a non-stick pan and serve immediately.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Jul 2008)

Minestrone pasta soup

A tasty, wholesome recipe that's a cinch to prepare.

Ingredients (serves 4):
1 can Italian tomatoes
25g butter
1 large onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 celery stick, diced
100g potatoes, peeled and diced
1 zucchini, diced
50g French beans, diced
1 litre beef stock
100g cabbage, shredded
200g shell pasta, cooked
20g grated parmesan cheese

1. In a food processor, blend tomatoes with the juice.
2. Take a large pot, melt butter and fry onions until soft.
3. Add carrots, celery, potatoes, zucchini and French beans. Stir fry for 2 minutes.
4. Add beef stock and blended tomatoes and bring to a boil, then simmer for about 30 minutes.
5. Add cabbage and simmer for another 15 minutes.
6. Stir in cooked pasta and parmesan cheese.

Make a larger batch of soup and store it in the fridge overnight. Then heat, and add pasta and cheese before serving.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Nov 2007)

Crispy vermicelli prawn wrap with thai spicy sauce

Ingredients (serves 4):
16 large prawns, shelled (leaving the tail)
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp powdered mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp coriander powder
150g vermicelli, soaked in water and drained

1/2 cup Thai chilli sauce
1/4 cup cold water
1 tsp raw cane sugar
A handful of fresh coriander, chopped

1. Marinate the prawns with sesame oil, mustard, salt, pepper and coriander powder and set aside for 10 minutes.
2. Take a small handful of vermicelli and wrap it tightly around each prawn. Repeat for the rest of the prawns.
3. To make the sauce, combine the Thai chilli sauce and cold water, and mix well. Add raw cane sugar and fresh coriander.
4. Heat enough oil in a pot on high heat to deep fry the prawns. Cook the prawns until crispy. Remove from oil and serve immediately with the sauce.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Nov 2007)

Salmon patties with celery cream sauce

A light dinner is a breeze with ready-made salmon burgers and canned soup.

Ingredients (serves 2):
3 tbsp olive oil
200g frozen Fassler Salmon Burgers
1/4 cup Del Monte Fresh Cut Whole Kernel Corn
1/4 tsp butter
1 small onion, chopped
4 tbsp Campbell's Cream of Celery
3/4 cup water
1 tbsp white wine
White pepper to taste
200g Green Rose Baby Honey Salad Mix

1. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a grill pan and cook the salmon patties on medium heat for 8 minutes on each side. Remove from pan and set aside.
2. In the same pan, saute the corn kernels in butter until slightly browned. Remove from pan.
3. To make the sauce, saute onions with 1 tbsp of olive oil until fragrant.
4. In a bowl, whisk the cream of celery with 2 tbsp of water. Pour this into the pan and stir. Add the rest of the water and mix well over low heat. Add white wine and season with pepper. Continue to stir until the sauce thickens. Strain the sauce to remove the onions.
5. To assemble, sprinkle corn on top of the salmon patties and drizzle with the sauce. Serve with salad mix.

If you don't fancy corn, use frozen peas or fresh sugar peas instead.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Nov 2007)

Chicken penne pasta

Flavourful Asian condiments lend a nice twist to a traditionally Italian dish.

Ingredients (serves 4):
3 pieces chicken thigh, skinned
1 tsp oyster sauce
1/2 tbsp dark soya sauce
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
200g penne pasta
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 can tomato pasta sauce
1/4 cup red wine
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 tsp brown sugar
8 fresh basil leaves
3 tsp parmesan cheese

1. Marinate the chicken with oyster sauce, dark soya sauce and ground black pepper for 15 minutes. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet.
2. Heat olive oil in a grill pan, add in the chicken and grill until golden brown. Remove and cut into strips.
3. Add the onions to the same pan and saute.
4. Pour in the pasta sauce and stir to mix. Add the red wine, chicken stock and brown sugar.
5. Stir in the cooked pasta.
6. Add fresh basil and cook for another 5 minutes. Serve on a plate and top with chicken strips and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

Save the sachets of parmesan cheese from your next pizza delivery and use it for this dish.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Nov 2007)

Spinach and egg souffle

Spinach - Part 3.

Fancy-sounding but a cinch to make.

Ingredients (serves 2):
3 small shallots, chopped
2 tsp butter
80g frozen minced spinach
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup light cream
3 tbsp chicken stock
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 packet frozen filo pastry, cut into 8x8cm squares
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 eggs
Olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 160 deg C.
2. Fry shallots in butter until fragrant. Add spinach and salt and cook for 2 minutes.
3. Add cream, stock and cinnamon powder and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
4. Line 2 ramekins (glazed ceramic bowls) with 8 pieces of filo pastry each to cover the inside completely.
5. Pour in the spinach mixture and sprinkle with cheese and black pepper. Crack an egg into each.
6. Drizzle some olive oil on top and bake for 25 minutes.
7. Remove from oven and serve.

Save time by cooking the spinach mixture the night before.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Nov 2007)

Spinach lontong

Spinach - Part 2.

Add a burst of flavour to vegetables with a spicy broth.

Ingredients (serves 2):
1 tbsp olive oil
100g spinach, remove roots and lower stems
200g eggplant, cut into small pieces
1 medium carrot, par-boiled and chopped
1 medium-sized onion, chopped
3 stalks long beans, cut into 4cm lengths
100g lontong paste
1 1/2 cup vegetable stock
1/4 cup coconut milk
3 tbsp evaporated milk
1/2 tsp brown sugar
10 quail eggs, boiled, shelled and halved
Chopped fresh coriander, to garnish

1. Saute spinach, eggplant, carrot, onion and long beans in olive oil for 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.
2. In the same pan, fry the lontong paste for 3 minutes.
3. Add vegetable stock and stir well to dilute the lontong paste. Leave to boil for 5 minutes on high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and add vegetables.
4. Add coconut milk, evaporated milk and brown sugar. Simmer for 5-10 minutes.
5. Top with quail eggs and chopped coriander. Serve immediately.

To slice boiled eggs neatly, use thread or unflavoured dental floss.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Nov 2007)

Beef spinach salad with honey mustard vinaigrette sauce

The dark green large-leaved spinach (usually from China) tastes great raw - just discard the fibrous stems first.

Ask for spinach at the wet market by their local names, bayam or yin choy.

Cook up a big batch of spinach by blanching in hot water. To remove the excess water, squeeze cooled spinach with your hands or between two dinner plates. Freeze what's left for future use.

Spinach grows in sandy soil so wash it thoroughly to remove all traces of sand and grit.

Spinach - Part 1.

Try a warm salad for a change.

Ingredients (serves 4):
100g spinach leaves
Olive oil
150g beef tenderloin, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced into rings
1 red bell pepper, cubed
1 tsp roasted almonds, chopped
1 tsp white sesame seeds

2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp English msutard
1/2 tsp honey
1/2 tbsp steak sauce
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp water

1. Blanch spinach leaves in salted hot water for 2 minutes, strain and rinse with cold water.
2. Heat some olive oil on high heat and saute beef for 2 minutes or until just cooked. Remove and set aside.
3. In the same pan, add more olive oil, and saute onions and red peppers until they caramelise. Remove from heat.
4. Mix the sauce ingredients and toss in the almonds and sesame seeds.
5. Pile spinach on a plate, top with beef, then the caramelised onions and peppers. Drizzle with sauce and serve immediately.

To chop almonds easily, put in a plastic bag and whack with wooden spoon.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Nov 2007)

French onion soup

Ingredients (serves 4):
300g onion, chopped
2 tbsp flour
30g butter
500ml chicken stock
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
50ml red wine
2 slices bread, toasted

1. Coat chopped onions with flour.
2. Heat butter in pan and cook onions at medium heat until golden brown.
3. In a pot, bring chicken stock to a boil. Add onions and simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Season with salt, pepper and red wine. Place soup in a bowl, and top with toast.

This soup improves blood circulation so take it regularly.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Nov 2007)

Canapes with smoked salmon

Canapes to go - Part 5.

Ingredients (serves 8):
8 slices smoked salmon
4 tbsp cream cheese spread with chives
Shaved honey baked ham
Fresh chives, to garnish

1. In each pastry case, place 1 slice of smoked salmon and 1 tsp of cream cheese spread. Repeat for the rest of the pastry cases.
2. Garnish with fresh chives.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Dec 2007)

Canapes with cream of escargot

Canapes to go - Part 4.

Ingredients (serves 8):
1 can Wong Coco Escargots in chilli and garlic sauce (from Cold Storage)
1 tsp lime juice
1 tsp thick cream

1. Heat the escargots in a pan and stir in the lime juice and thick cream.
2. Spoon them into the baked pastry cups.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Dec 2007)

Canapes with honey baked ham

Canapes to go - Part 3.

Ingredients (serves 8):
4 tbsp cream cheese spread with chives
200g honey baked ham
Cracked black pepper

1. In each pastry case, spoon in 1 tsp of cream cheese spread and a sliver of shaved ham on top. Repeat for the rest of the pastry cases.
2. Sprinkle with cracked black pepper.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Dec 2007)

Canapes with egg mayonnaise

Canapes to go - Part 2.

Ingredients (serves 8):
1 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp thick cream, whipped
2 tsp lime juice
3 tbsp Mezzetta Roasted Bell Peppers (from Cold Storage)
4 quail eggs, hardboiled, shelled and halved

1. Stir the mayonnaise, thick cream and lime juice together.
2. Spoon the mixture into baked pastry cups, then top with bell peppers and quail eggs.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Dec 2007)

Canapes with berry topping with lemon cream

Use either pastry cases or toast as canape bases.

Bake ready-made pastry cases (try Jus Rol Medium Size Pastry Cases, which comes in a box of 18) according to the instructions.

For toast, cut white bread with cookie cutters, spray with cooking spray and toast in the oven till crisp.

Canapes to go - Part 1.

Ingredients (serves 8):
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp icing sugar
3 tbsp whipping cream
60g fresh blueberries
60g fresh raspberries
Icing sugar, for dusting

1. Add the lemon juice and icing sugar to the whipping cream and whisk until stiff.
2. Leave it in the freezer to chill for 1 hour.
3. Spoon the lemon cream into the pastry cups and spread on toast. Add raspberries to the pastry cases and blueberries to the toast.
4. Dust some icing sugar on top before serving.

Pastry case canapes can be prepared just before guests arrive, but assemble the ones on toast just before serving as they get soggy faster.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Dec 2007)

Holy berry

Make five-course christmas dinner in 2 hours - Part 5.

Ingredients (serves 4):
500ml cranberry juice
1 can 7-Up
8 scoops vanilla ice cream
12 raspberries
8 mint leaves

1. Blend cranberry juice, 7-Up and ice cream in a blender on high speed.
2. Serve in tall glasses, topped with fresh raspberries and a mint leaf.

For an adult version, add raspberry liqueur or vodka.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Dec 2007)

Lemon roulade with raspberry sauce

Make five-course christmas dinner in 2 hours - Part 4.

Ingredients (serves 4):
Lemon cream:
2 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp custard powder (add a little water to dissolve)
2 tbsp caster sugar

Sponge cake:
3 eggs, separated
1/2 cup caster sugar
3 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
125g cake flour

Raspberry sauce:
200g fresh raspberries
2 tbsp raspberry jam
1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
Snow powder, for garnishing

1. Whisk all the lemon cream ingredients together until it becomes thick and foamy. Chill.
2. To make the sponge cake, beat the egg yolks and sugar together until it becomes a pale yellow.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff. Fold the vanilla essence and lemon juice into the egg-yolk mixture.
4. Sift the flour into the mixture and fold it in. Gently fold in egg whites.
5. Line a shallow 30cm by 20cm baking tin with baking parchment and pour in the mixture.
6. Bake in a preheated 175 deg C oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, turn the cake over on a wire rack and remove the parchment. Leave to cool.
7. To make the raspberry sauce, blend all the sauce ingredients in a blender.
8. To assemble, spread the lemon cream on the sponge cake. Roll the cake and cut into 4 pieces. Dust each serving with snow powder and top with raspberry sauce.

Snow powder is very fine powdered sugar found in speciality baking stores like Phoon Huat. It sticks better to food compared to icing sugar.

Recipe source: Simply Her magazine (Dec 2007)